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Gurley, Elliott & Fournette - The top-10 running backs of the last 10 years

77   //    25 Apr 2018, 22:23 IST
Gurley cropped
Todd Gurley claimed the 2017 Offensive Player of the Year award after an outstanding season

Saquon Barkley looks primed to become the next highly touted college running back to take the NFL by storm when he is drafted on Thursday.

The Penn State star is seen as a consensus top-10 pick with the potential to be a franchise-altering selection.

Since 2008 seven running backs have been selected in the top 10 of the draft and here we look back at the impact they have made.

2008: Darren McFadden, fourth overall, Oakland Raiders

Injuries were a constant in McFadden's career and derailed any chance of him becoming a true superstar in the NFL.

McFadden still enjoyed a respectable career with both the Oakland Raiders and Dallas Cowboys but rushed for over 1,000 yards just twice in his career.

2010: C.J. Spiller, ninth overall, Buffalo Bills

Constantly threatening to become the next great NFL running back, C.J. Spiller had his breakout season in 2012 rushing for over 1,200 yards.

From there it was all downhill as injuries, fumbling issues and general poor play led to reduced playing time in Buffalo.


Since then Spiller has bounced around the league with the New Orleans Saints, Seattle Seahawks and New York Jets.

2012: Trent Richardson, third overall, Cleveland Browns

Out of the league since 2014, Richardson has not lived up to the hype that made him the third overall pick in 2012.

The former Cleveland Brown had an encouraging rookie campaign with 950 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns.

He was traded to the Indianapolis Colts in 2013 but was released after his second season with the team.

2015: Todd Gurley, 10th overall, St. Louis/Los Angeles Rams

Gurley claimed the Offensive Rookie of the Year crown despite only playing 13 games in his maiden NFL season.

A testing sophomore year followed as he averaged just 3.2 yards per carry.

However Gurley was an MVP candidate under new head coach Sean McVay last season, amassing over 2,000 scrimmage yards.

Although he missed out on the MVP award to Tom Brady, Gurley was named the Offensive Player of the Year in 2017.

2016: Ezekiel Elliott, fourth overall, Dallas Cowboys

Elliott was a monster for the Cowboys as they returned to the postseason and he claimed the rushing title in his rookie year with an astounding 1,631 yards.

The Dallas runner had seven games of over 100 rushing yards in the regular season and followed that up with a 125-yard effort against the Green Bay Packers in the playoffs.

Suspension hindered his 2017 campaign as he rushed for 983 yards in 10 games as Dallas missed the playoffs.

2017: Leonard Fournette, fourth overall, Jacksonville Jaguars

Fournette became the centrepeice of the Jaguars offense in 2017. The former LSU back bulldozed his way to over 1,000 rushing yards in his rookie season as the Jaguars made the playoffs for the first time since 2007.

During his postseason run Fournette had 242 yards and four touchdowns in three playoff games, with the Jaguars losing a thriller to the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship game.

Christian McCaffrey, eighth overall, Carolina Panthers

McCaffrey had a tough season running the ball for Carolina, but was a mismatch nightmare for opposing defenses as a receiver out of the backfield.

The former Stanford star broke the franchise record for receptions by a running back with 80 catches, just eight behind Reggie Bush for the NFL record.

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